Paper Boat: Riding on the Tide of Nostalgia



Case Code : CLMM134
Publication date : 2017
Period : 2012- 2016
Subject : Marketing Management
Industry : Ethnic Beverages/Snacks Segment
Organization :Paper Boat
Length : 5 pages
Teaching Note : Available
Country : India


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Abstract: ICMR India ICMR India ICMR India ICMR India RSS Feed

After a couple of attempts at penetrating the Indian beverages market with their energy drinks, Frissia and Tzinga, proved unsuccessful, the four founders of India-based Hector Beverages Pvt. Ltd., knew they had to overhaul their strategy. In 2013, they launched Paper Boat – a brand that represented a wide range of ethnic Indian drinks. The brand was priced to represent a premium product and was positioned as a drink that stood for hygiene with a blend of nostalgia. The ethnic flavors and appeal of Paper Boat quickly captured the Indian customers’ tastes and also attracted support from investors. With the addition of a wide variety of juices and flavors, tie-ups with major Indian restaurants, airlines, and railways and collaboration with a Japanese firm for deeper distribution, the sales grew rapidly.

Though Paper Boat carved out its own niche, it was not devoid of competition, which came from the huge unorganized local juice market and home-made fresh juices to bigger players like Dabur and ITC that were attracted to the segment. To create sales during the off-summer season, in early 2017, Paper Boat announced its foray into the indigenous foods segment as well, its first offering being Chikki, an Indian sweet made of jaggery and peanuts. Paper Boat believed in reliving childhood memories, the brand attempted to bring back lost recipes and the memories associated with them. The case explores the significance of a brand that evokes feelings of nostalgia, how natural products indigenously made can attract customers, and whether Paper Boat can achieve profits to ensure its long-term growth and sustainability.


Discuss the importance of nostalgia in building a brand
Assess how a product can be launched by finding gaps in an established market.
Distinguish between branded and unbranded products.
Examine whether premium pricing can increase the customer base.


Paper Boat, produced and marketed by Hector Beverages Pvt. Ltd., entered the traditional Indian non-carbonated beverages market in August 2013. In just over three years – by 2016 – it had established a strong following as a fashionable and natural beverage brand in India. The company had unveiled plans to expand overseas as well. In early 2017, Paper Boat’s founders decided to enter into the business of age-old Indian foods. They decided to make ethnic Indian foods in a hygienic manner, and supply them with hassle free packaging, convenient to carry around. The idea of entering foods came about when Neeraj Kakkar, (Kakkar), one of the founders of Paper Boat and CEO of Hector Beverages, visited a chikki -making cottage industry. Kakkar observed that the chikki was made under poor hygienic conditions and he felt there was an immense business opportunity there for Paper Boat. In November 2016, the company announced its foray into Indian foods with the launch of Paper Boat Chikki...

Key words:
Ethnic beverages,Nostalgia,Ethnic beverage,Premium pricing,Customers’ tastes,Brand representation,Indigenous flavors,Distribution,Paper Boat,New product development,Identify Gaps in the existing market ">

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